SEO Basics for Nonprofits

Written by: 
Molly Niemczyk

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways for a nonprofit to increase their visibility in search engine results and drive organic traffic to their website. After all, the majority of web traffic is organic, and the higher the ranking of your page on the search engine results page (SERP), the more likely users are to click on it. Whether you’re looking to improve visibility, increase relevance, or drive donations, here are some SEO best practices that will help your nonprofit shine in the search results.


What Are Search Engines Looking For?

Before we dive into the changes you can make to your website, we need to understand what, exactly, search engines like Google and Bing are examining when they determine which pages appear first in a search result. 

Using web crawlers, search engines are able to collect information about the pages of a website. From HTML structure to image metadata to actual site content, the information that goes into making your website is gathered and analyzed by highly advanced algorithms that help a search engine understand what your website is about and whether it is relevant to specific queries.

Are you using certain keywords? Do you have a lot of content on your website about a particular topic? Do you have title tags? Alt image descriptions? All these and more can play a role in whether your nonprofit’s website appears in the search results.


How You Can Improve Your SEO

A lot goes into SEO; some fixes are quick and simple, while others are more technical and can take longer to implement. For now, let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways you can improve your nonprofit’s SEO.


Write Engaging Content

Articles and blog posts that are rich with relevant information are one of the most effective ways to improve your SEO. After all, accurate, descriptive content will help search engines better understand the function of your nonprofit, and will also satisfy people who click on your website in hopes of more information. Make sure you have detailed descriptions of the services you offer. Create a detailed “about page” describing the history of the organization. Write blog posts that share success stories and upcoming events. 

It’s also important to implement popular keywords into the copy, as it’s incredibly hard to rank highly for words you aren’t actually using on the pages of your website. Just make sure that those are keywords you actually want to be ranking for! Leave out irrelevant keywords and maintain focus on the words that relate the most to your nonprofit.


Structure Your Website Properly

When creating blog posts or new website pages, pay attention to the HTML structure. As advanced as web crawlers might be, even they can get confused if they spot multiple title tags on a single page, or multiple pages using the same title tag. You need to make it as easy as possible for the search engines to understand what each page on your website is about, how the information is organized, and why one page is different from another page with similar content.


Get Backlinks to your Site

Following the best practices above will also inevitably help you achieve this important goal of SEO: getting backlinks to your site from other websites. The more reputable your organization, and the more relevant content you produce, the more likely it is that another organization will value your content enough to link to it on their own site. Search engines do look at how many backlinks you have, as well as how “valuable” those sites doing the linking are. A nationally recognized organization will carry a little more weight than a personal blog, but a backlink from either is helpful for your ranking to some extent.

If you want to encourage backlinks, make sure the content you’re producing is easily found and easily shared. You can do this by sharing links on your social media, or by reaching out to relevant organizations that might be interested in advocating for or otherwise promoting your nonprofit.


Are you a nonprofit looking to improve your SEO? Our team of experts at Relevance Advisors is here to help. Reach out today to learn more about our SEO strategy and other services.

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